Lance Stroll to race for Force India in 2019

Lance Stroll's move from Williams to Force India has been made official for 2019.

In August, Lance's father Lawrence Stroll purchased the Force India team, saving it from administration. It was widely believed from that point on that the Canadian driver would be making the move across to replace either Sergio Perez or Esteban Ocon.

When Perez was confirmed to be staying with Force India in October, it became clear Stroll would be taking the place of Ocon. The two drivers are close friends and earlier this year Ocon posted to social media to defend Stroll from abuse he had received after the Force India takeover, saying it was "not normal".

Last week, the final possible destination for Ocon was closed off when Williams confirmed Robert Kubica in its other race seat alongside F2 champion George Russell. The Frenchman will instead fulfill reserve and test driver duties for Mercedes next season.

Stroll, 20, is coming to the end of his second season in F1. The team lacked performance throughout but Stroll claimed its two best results of the season, finishing eighth in Azerbaijan -- where he also claimed a podium during his rookie 2017 campaign -- and ninth in Italy.

The Canadian said: "This is the beginning of an incredibly exciting journey in my Formula One career. I look forward to working alongside a successful team with a great culture. It's a new challenge and I am excited to embrace this new opportunity!"

Force India team boss and CEO Otmar Szafnauer believes Stroll can excel at the team alongside Perez.

"I'm pleased that we can finally confirm Lance's arrival to race alongside Sergio next year," he said. "It gives us an exciting line-up with the perfect blend of youth, talent, and experience. Lance is only twenty and already has two years of Formula One experience under his belt, as well as a podium finish and a front row start.

"We see huge potential in Lance and believe we can create an environment in which he can flourish. Our team has enjoyed great success nurturing and developing young and talented drivers, and we are very excited to begin our journey with Lance. I would also like to take the opportunity to thank Esteban Ocon for his contribution to the team over the last two seasons and wish him well for the future."